Serie A final day: Four clubs battle for two Champions League places
All eyes will be on the battle for third and fourth when the Italian season comes to a close on Sunday. With Juventus confirmed as champions weeks ago and Napoli safe in second, four clubs -- Atalanta, Inter, Milan and Roma -- will compete for the two remaining Champions League places.
Entering the decisive day, Atalanta and Inter are third and fourth, respectively, with 66 points apiece, but neither can afford to drop points with Milan (fifth; 65) and Roma (sixth; 63) breathing down their necks.
The games that matter (LIVE on ESPN+, 2:20 p.m. ET)
Atalanta vs. Sassuolo
Inter vs. Empoli
SPAL vs. Milan
Roma vs. Parma
The simplest H2H permutations
In short, there are many! But with head-to-head serving as the first tiebreaker in Serie A and all of these teams having played each other twice, here are the most straightforward scenarios, should teams finish level on points:
Atalanta win tiebreaker over Inter.
Inter win tiebreaker over Milan.
Milan win tiebreaker over Atalanta and Roma.
Roma do not hold a tiebreaker advantage over any of their rivals.
Three- and four-way tiebreakers are also possible
This is where it gets really complicated! Based on the teams in third, fourth and fifth having the same points total:
Atalanta / Inter / Milan: Atalanta and Inter qualify for Champions League, Milan to Europa League
Atalanta / Inter / Roma: Atalanta and Roma qualify for Champions League, Inter to Europa League
Atalanta / Milan / Roma: Milan and Roma qualify for Champions League, Atalanta to Europa League
Inter / Milan / Roma: Inter and Milan qualify for Champions League, Roma to Europa League
And in the event of a four-way tie -- it could happen! -- Inter and Milan would finish third and fourth, respectively, and go into the Champions League; Atalanta and Roma would go into the Europa League.
Individual club permutations
- Win: Guaranteed Champions League football if they beat Sassuolo (technically a home game, but being played at Sassuolo due to ground redevelopment work).
- Draw: Can qualify with a point if Milan fail to win.
- Loss: If Atalanta are beaten, they need Milan to lose. If Atalanta lose and Milan win, they would need Inter.
- Win: Guaranteed a Champions League place if they beat Empoli.
- Draw, Will qualify if Milan fail to win.
- Loss: If Inter are beaten, they qualify if Milan do not win.
- Win: Must beat SPAL and have other results go their way, such as Atalanta or Inter failing to win.
- Draw: Will qualify if Atalanta lose and Inter win or draw OR if Atalanta and Inter lose and Roma win.
- Loss: Milan are out of Champions League contention.
- Win: Can only qualify for Champions League if they beat Parma and one of two scenarios plays out: Atalanta, Inter and Milan all lose OR Atalanta lose, Milan draw and Inter win or draw.
- Draw: Roma are out of Champions League contention.
- Loss: Roma are out of Champions League contention.